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I’m tired of iPhone 15 Pro USB-C cable leaks – but here’s the latest one

Published Aug 25th, 2023 6:50AM EDT
iPhone 14 Pro on an Apple coffee table book
Image: Jonathan Geller, BGR

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The iPhone 15 will be the first iPhone series to feature a USB-C connector, marking Apple’s switch to the new standard. It’s not necessarily that Apple wants to drop the proprietary Lightning port. It has to do it before the European Union’s new charging standardization rules kick in.

The USB-C port should be an exciting addition to the iPhone because it improves the overall user experience. You no longer have to worry about having the right cable with you. Almost everyone carries a USB-C cable because most Android phones have the same port.

But we’ve witnessed a deluge of iPhone 15 USB-C cable leaks in the past few days that generated some outrage. The iPhone 15 models might support Thunderbolt speeds, but not with the cables that come in the box. And there’s a new leak that gives us a look at the special Thunderbolt USB-C cable that Apple reportedly devised for the iPhone 15 Pro.

Stop whining about USB 2.0 vs. Thunderbolt cables

Rumors say the iPhone 15 USB-C cords will be larger than the previous Lightning variants and come in colors matching the iPhone. More importantly, these are going to be braided cables, which means they’ll be more durable than the Lightning ones.

Finally, leaks say the USB-C charging cables will only support USB 2.0 speeds, just like the Lightning ones. That’s 480 Mbps and a detail few iPhone buyers need or care about.

As I said before, most iPhone users will rarely, if ever, use the USB-C cable for data transfer. They won’t take advantage of Thunderbolt speeds (up to 40 Gbps) unless they transfer media to computers or back up the iPhone to a PC.

Possible USB-C cable for the new iPhone 15
Possible USB-C cable for the new iPhone 15 Image source: Kosutami/X

If you somehow think Apple owes you a free Thunderbolt cable with your iPhone 15 Pro, you’re mistaken. That’s not how it works, and you shouldn’t be outraged that the default cable won’t support the best data transfer speed. Apple sells separate USB-C Thunderbolt cables. It can’t just offer them for free.

I’ll also point out that the iPad Pros with Thunderbolt USB-C ports do not come with Thunderbolt cables in the box.

Moreover, Android devices might have been rocking USB-C connectivity for years, but they don’t support Thunderbolt data transfers.

A Thunderbolt cable just for the iPhone 15 Pro?

Finally, it’s still unclear which iPhone 15 models will deliver Thunderbolt speeds. Older rumors say only the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max do. Newer ones suggested that the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus might also support it. I’d think only the premium phones will. That’s the phones pro users will choose, and pro users need faster data transfer speeds for photos and videos.

Leaker Kosutami has provided details about the iPhone 15’s default USB-C cables on Twitter/X. They’re back with images that show a brand new Apple USB-C cable the company reportedly designed for the iPhone 15 Pro.

Apparently, the images date back to February. Many things could have changed since then, and there’s no guarantee Apple will sell this model.

Still, the leaker has specs for it. We’re looking at a 0.8-meter (2.62 feet) braided USB-C cable that supports USB4 Gen 2 speeds and 150W charging speed. The cable is different than the ones Apple is already selling. Also, the cable comes in black, so it’s unclear whether Apple will go for color-matching options.

The USB naming structure is a massive mess, so the USB4 Gen 2 standard is extremely confusing. What matters here is that we’re looking at a Thunderbolt cable that would support 10 Gbps to 20 Gbps transfer speeds. We’re also getting support for external monitors and 100W power delivery.

As for that 150W charging speed, the Thunderbolt cable might support it, but don’t expect the iPhone 15 Pros also to support it. I think there’s no way Apple goes for such a formidable battery charging speed upgrade. Instead, we might see the iPhone 15 models support charging rates of over 30W.

Finally, there’s no price for this leaked cable. I’ll remind you that Apple’s existing Thunderbolt USB-C cables start at $129. That’s the 1.8-meter (5.91 feet) variant. The cable above might be cheaper than that, but it’ll still cost you extra to get those Thunderbolt speeds going.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.